12 May 2013

Cool for May

I was alone on Swastika Stones for 10.30 it was grey but dry. A smeary arête  started proceedings. It was manky on top so I gave it a good clean. I wrestled with it for a bit, my right foot breaking away time and again. Third go and I got the top, my feet slipping on lichen as I rocked tenuously on to the top heart in mouth, grand, Hard for Yorkshire grits V0 more like V2 I reckon.

Next up the smooth tease of Christmas Day arête, which had beaten me on a bitter February when heat and light were thin on the ground. Today was warmer. You pull on, step up on to an edge and throw for the top all in one easy, silky movement, well that's the plan. Timing is all, and fourth go I latched the top. I threw a leg over the top as my calf cramped solid. I managed to hang on and wait for the muscle to free up and topped out. Happy with that. So two more arêtes to add to my collection.

I was over in Ilkley today because I had been asked to be in some photographs for the new grit guide after Adi Gill and Robin Nicholson took a shine to my review of the first volume. Disappointingly rain was now falling and the forecast looked grim.

I drove up to the Cow and Calf in the now steady  rain. I was just getting into my excellent bacon butty from the grumpy man in the cafe, when Stuart and then Robin guidebook guru and photographer Mike all wandered over to say hello.

We cursed the weather decided to abort mission and sat around getting wet. We nattered, the sun came out, things dried and before I knew it we were back on again. Soon I was racking up for S crack in a cold and windy quarry, with Stuart holding the rope. I was good for the "tricky" start and to the halfway ledge then my lack of any trad stamina in the recent past took its toll and I had a proper punter's pump on. It was bitter and my fingers were present but I couldn't feel them at all.

Suffice to say Mike provided soothing words from his rope and got me to a point were he could get some decent shots for the guide, before the rain really came down and I made a quick get away.
All in all a good, if strange day out, thanks everyone.

Christmas Day Arete
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